Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Final Day in India, Hillary Clinton hits it off with Students of Delhi U

Ending her last day in India, Hillary took some time to talk to the students in a town hall format at Delhi University.

She touched on a lot of issues such as climate change, agriculture, terrorism and women empowerment and taking a number of queries from them, ranging on just as many issues.

Among the scores of hands that shot up as soon as Clinton finished her 20-minute address was of a student of the Jamia Milia Islamia University who wanted to know if there was a point of convergence between India and the U.S., which are so different culturally.

Literally conjuring up an image in response, Clinton said

"If Hollywood and Bollywood was the way we lived our lives, it would surprise me! And yet it’s often the way our cultures are conveyed.

People watching a Bollywood movie in some other part of Asia think everybody in India is beautiful and they have dramatic lives and happy endings. And if you were to watch American TV and our movies you’d think that we don’t wear clothes and we spend all our time fighting with each other!

We, therefore, have to break these stereotypes and student exchanges are a way of cutting through the clutter and understanding that our hopes and values are similar."

Another student asked how Hillary reconciled her policy views with those of President Barack Obama which were so evident during the presidential race. She replied:
"I think the campaign magnified the differences more than they actually are. That’s what happens in campaigns. I’m sure you’ve noticed that. You draw differences and try to make them seem extremely large in order to convince people to vote for you rather than the other person."
She also wasn't too shy about her fondness and great admiration for India, and Indian cuisine, saying: “I eat way too much food when I am here. I have to go on a diet of carrots and celery when I go back home!” You can read her full remarks with the students here or watch the videos below: Part 1:

Part 2:

Part 3:

Part 4:

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